Professional


Talking With High School Kids 2

Last year, I was contacted by my high school to gauge interest if I would be interested in coming back and speaking to the current students about my transition from high school to university and eventually to professional life. My limited flexibility in my schedule due to just starting a new job didn’t allow me to make the trip last year but I was finally able to do it earlier last week when my scheduled trip home fit both of our schedules.

Let me explain my high school first. The Middlesex County Academy for Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies was established in 2000 and I was part of the 2nd class to enter the institution. Each year, the school only accepts 40 students from the entire county and stops replacing them if they leave after sophomore year. I ended up graduating with only 32 students but just from that select group alone we have people working internationally, have had some enrolled in Ivy League schools, a couple going for their PHDs and not to mention the various types of fields in the industry we have managed to penetrate. Let me also say I was fortunate to have Christine volunteer to come speak with me as well as it provided an excellent balance for two people who started in the same place and have gone on to take completely opposite routes since and still be enjoying what they do professionally.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the talk as I didn’t know too many of them beforehand since we have been out of that building for almost 6 years now but it continued to be more productive as the day progressed. The seniors seemed far more reserved compared to the barrage of questions and feedback we received from the juniors afterwards but they did come back with requests to talk to alums who had taken certain paths and to the best of our abilities, we have put all in touch with someone within a matter of days.

Since the talk, we have started to take the first concrete steps towards founding an Academy Alumni Foundation which I think will go a long way in connecting not only the alumni with each other but also serve as a strong foundation for the current students looking to take the next step in their educational or professional careers. I have already heard from excited alumni who are asking about how they can help and hopefully this type of activity still exists once the association is up and running – which shouldn’t be too far into the future (barring any setbacks).

For those that went to my high school and have not yet filled out the Alumni information form, please do so here. In under a week now, we have been able to get nearly 50% of all graduates already spanning over six years and hopefully that trend continues so we can officially launch in the near future.


Why Bullying Exists In Schools

This is one of the best descriptions of why bullying exists to a much greater extent in an educational environment as opposed to the professional world that I have read in quite a long time:

People often think bullying is a result of kids being kids. Its not. Its a direct result of placing them in the school system with its rules and authority apparatus. If you placed adults in an identical environment you would end up with bullying as well.

One of the main differences between school and the adult world is, in school if kids fight they will both be punished. You will often hear “I dont care who started it”.

In the adult world, whoever attacks is guilty of assault and the other person can defend themselves and will not be punished at all.

In the adult world, if someone is annoying you, you can get up and walk out. In school, you are essentially a prisoner.

Also, the school staff has to see with their own eyes an act of bullying. If a teacher sees a student punch another student, they will likely do something. If a student tells a teacher they were punched nothing will likely be done.

In the adult world, courts believe the testimony of victims.

Bullies are just kids who are using the system to their advantage. And thats only human nature. To stop bullying, what needs to change is the system so bullies are no longer rewarded and encouraged by it.

ClassicalFizz (Reddit)

This was always my belief as I went through the public system and if you know me, you know how much I love the public school system.

I think the perspective one has to take is that you never ever start a fight but don’t be afraid of finishing one. That probably has a tendency to have some consequences but sometimes you have to let your kid take a stand while still trying to teach them violence isn’t always the answer.